September 2, 2008

English summary

This issue of Diplomaatia is devoted to Latvia. Jaak Jõerüüt, Estonia’s Ambassador in Riga writes in his opening article that “The Estonian state will be much stronger, more secure and sure of itself when located next to an independent, rich, strong and secure Latvia. Geopolitical realities have destined us to together follow the paths of history and trouble will befall us if we cannot do it properly and patiently, keeping in mind our mutual interests and common good!”

This issue of Diplomaatia is devoted to Latvia. Jaak Jõerüüt, Estonia’s Ambassador in Riga writes in his opening article that “The Estonian state will be much stronger, more secure and sure of itself when located next to an independent, rich, strong and secure Latvia. Geopolitical realities have destined us to together follow the paths of history and trouble will befall us if we cannot do it properly and patiently, keeping in mind our mutual interests and common good!”

English summary

This issue of Diplomaatia is devoted to Latvia.
Jaak Jõerüüt, Estonia’s Ambassador in Riga writes in his opening article that “The Estonian state will be much stronger, more secure and sure of itself when located next to an independent, rich, strong and secure Latvia. Geopolitical realities have destined us to together follow the paths of history and trouble will befall us if we cannot do it properly and patiently, keeping in mind our mutual interests and common good!”
Jõerüüt laments the absence of knowledge and information of Latvia in Estonia. He also criticizes the fact that very few political decision makers actually understand the real importance of Latvia to Estonia. “We cannot manage without Latvia” – this line should become axiomatic in Estonia’s foreign and security policy, as well as in regional, environmental and transport policies. We should no longer waste time on scholastic arguments, instead we should work according to these self-evident truths every day, from today until eternity.”
The former Latvian Ambassador to Estonia, Gints Jegermanis writes about Latvia’s dynamic of development and its position in the world. “At a time when we can finally influence the formulation of NATO and EU positions and participate in these organisations’ policies, the Latvian society has been busy with its internal problems,” he writes. “In a situation where the society pays enormous attention to salaries, employment, prices, social security and health, it becomes a demanding task for the political leadership to find and mobilize the intellectual and financial resources needed to find solutions to our foreign political problems.”
Maria Mälksoo, a doctoral student at Cambridge University writes about Latvia’s former President Vaira Vike-Freiberga’s “policy of remembering”. Mälksoo argues that Freiberga’s goal has not been just to increase the understanding in Western Europe of the horrors and sufferings of the Eastern half of the continent under the Soviet occupation. Rather, Freiberga is trying to enhance the Western Europeans’ memory of the years passed so that it also encompassed the events from Eastern Europe. She aims to make Eastern Europe not just a part of Europe’s common past, but also a part of its common future: “Pretension to become a part of a “memory community” signalises also a desire to be involved in forming that community’s future. Therefore, the attempts by the first lady of the Baltic “memory-policy” to provide the Baltic narrative of the Second World War to an audience in the West can also be interpreted as a desire to participate as equal among equals in the making and writing of future European history.”
In addition, Toomas Väli compares the military reforms and development of the army in Latvia and Estonia. The biggest difference is Latvia’s abandonment of the conscript army, but Väli suggest that Estonia should be cautious and not rush to adopt that as a model.
Raivo Vare compares the economic landscapes of Latvia and Estonia, describing the intertwinement of business and politics in Latvia – a phenomenon, that is absent in Estonia and changes a lot in Latvia’s policy making as compared to Estonia.
Finally, Einari Kisel from the Estonian Ministry of Economics and Transport writes about Latvia’s energy sector, concluding that in energy politics, Latvia and Estonia are different almost to the point of being opposites and therefore complement each other.

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